While current marketing trends largely point to the dominance and efficacy of image, language will always be a necessary tool for marketers to convey their message to consumers. With the average attention span steadily decreasing, marketers are required to pack all relevant sales information into increasingly shorter blocks of text. However, the potential of even the smallest blocks of text to convey multi-layered messages cannot be underestimated. Despite the prevalence of image-based campaigns, language remains an inherently powerful tool. The way marketers string their sentences together can make all the difference when it comes to inspiring a reaction from consumers.
While marketers should, for the most part, be clear in relaying their message to consumers, omitting certain details from an email can be beneficial in creating a need for response. When an offer is advertised simply as time-limited, and no firm deadlines or timeframes are given, consumers interested in the product feel more motivated to act. “This is a powerful technique to use if you want your readers to understand the urgency to act, but you don’t necessarily want to put a deadline on the service or product offer,” says Huffington Post contributor M. Shannon Hernandez.” Example: ‘This offer is for a limited time only. I urge you to hurry before it expires.’ The next time you sit down to write for your business, and you want your readers to take action, I encourage you to try one of these techniques. Creating a sense of urgency with your words is a powerful tool for increasing your response rates, ultimately meaning more money in your pocket.”
Set Clear Deadlines on Offers
While the above certainly applies, it’s sometimes best to define and isolate a deadline on certain offers. “If you are using snail-mail, you want to make sure your deadline is 8-12 weeks from the date you drop the mail off at the post office. This is because the national average delivery time for third-class mail is close to 2.5 weeks,” says Hernandez. “If you are emailing the offer, you can use words such as “ends today” or “good until next Wednesday. Example: ‘This offer expires October 28th. After that, it’s too late.’”
A worthy compromise between time-limited offers and clear deadlines is the use of timeframes. This allows the marketer to create some form of urgency without the risk of the approach being seen as abrasive. According to Hernandez: “If you are not comfortable putting a firm deadline on your offer, you can also specify a time frame. This means the reader has a certain period of time in which to act on the offer. Example: ‘Please reply within the next 5 days to claim your savings.’”
The age of the long-form message (the effective one, at least) is coming to a close. With Gen Z rapidly taking over the bulk of the consumer base, marketer’s looking to stand out from the crowd need to rely on image-heavy, text-light emails that do more showing than telling. The alphabet contained in an email must serve the message’s overarching purpose, and all information offered to the reader should be related to the brand. Of course, there are exceptions, and erring too deeply toward minimalism can give the message a bland, automated tone. Embellishment and personality is welcome, as long as the marketer is using language to aid his or her fundamental goal.